The Islanders hung tough with the Anaheim Ducks, but a late second-period breakdown ultimately led to a 5-2 loss Monday at Honda Center.
John Tavares and Thomas Vanek each had a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who were one minute shy of taking a 2-2 tie into the third period. The Ducks scored twice – including a shorthanded winner from Cam Fowler – in the final 33 seconds of the middle frame to take a 4-2 lead.
“That’s the turning point in the game,” head coach Jack Capuano said. “We couldn’t overcome it.”
Fowler buried the winner off a 3-on-1 rush at 19:27 of the second period, en route to a three-point night (1g/2a). Thirty-one seconds later, Corey Perry potted the first of his two goals, scoring from his knees with 1.7 seconds left on the clock. Perry also scored on the Ducks first power play, which came in the third period.
The Islanders held two leads in Monday’s contest, as Tavares converted a Vanek feed on the Isles' first power play at 9:17 to open the scoring. Tavares returned the favor in the second, winning a draw to Vanek, who ripped his ninth of the season past Jonas Hiller at 4:17.
“We’ve been doing good things, but good things aren’t what we want. We want wins,” Tavares said. “We’ve come out hard, but we haven’t been able to carry it for 60 minutes. We’ve been shooting ourselves in the foot.”
Andrew Cogliano finished a no-look feed from Daniel Winnik in the second period and Saku Koivu scored to round out the Ducks scoring.
Anders Nilsson turned aside 26 shots in the loss, while Hiller made 35 saves in the win.
The Islanders loss was their third in a row on their current road trip and drops their record against Pacific division opponents to 2-3-1. The Islanders wrap up the California portion of their trip with a game against the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night at SAP Center. Puck drop is at 10:30 p.m. eastern time.